Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hurricane Center: Caribbean system has become less organized (UPDATED)

See update below.

A system of showers and thunderstorms over the central Caribbean Sea could develop into a tropical depression over the next couple of days, the National Hurricane Center said this morning.

Forecasters say there is a 40 percent, or "medium," chance that the system could turn into the first tropical storm or hurricane of the season, named "Alex."

"Winds appear to be conducive for gradual development and a tropical depression could form during the next couple of days," the Hurricane Center said in a statement.

Regardless of its status, forecasters predicted the system would produce occasionally heavy rain and gusty winds over parts of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica as it moves west-northwestward at about 10 mph.

As for what this system might do, Weather Underground had this map showing various projections:

UPDATED, 2:15 p.m. EDT -- The Hurricane Center reports that the system "has become less organized today," and has reduced the chance that it will develop into a tropical storm or hurricane to 20 percent. Earlier today, the chance was listed at 40 percent.

However -- and this is a big "however" -- "environmental conditions are expected to become more conducive for slow development of this system over the next several days as it moves west-northwestward at about 10 mph."

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